Republicans override Kentucky governor’s veto of abortion restrictions
Abortion providers, who told Reuters they will challenge the bill in court, say that the implementation of the bill makes Kentucky the first state in the U.S. to not have legal abortion access since 1973, when the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade, establishing a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy before fetal viability.
The new law has strict requirements that abortion providers in Kentucky state say make it too expensive and challenging to perform the procedure, Reuters reported.
One of the law’s provisions includes a mandate that fetal remains must be buried or cremated as well as birth-death or stillborn certificates to be issued.
The law also bans access to abortion pills received by mail and implements a monitoring system for abortions performed throughout Kentucky as well as on the physicians who perform the procedure, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader.
The bill was vetoed by the state’s Democratic governor Friday, but the Republican-majority Kentucky House and Senate overrode Beshear’s veto Wednesday by a 76-21 vote.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates of Kentucky and Indiana said that the bill “does not make abortion illegal, but because of the laundry list of restrictions . . . abortion providers will not be able to comply,” therefore it effectively prohibits abortion in Kentucky, the Herald-Leader reports.
Beshear stated that the measure was “likely unconstitutional,” as it provides no exception for rape or incest, and Beshear said he believes “rape and incest are violent crimes,” and that, “victims of these crimes should have options,” Reuters reports.
The legislature also overrode Beshear’s veto on a measure that bans transgender girls from playing in girls’ sports in Kentucky, as well as several other measures.
Several Kentucky Democrats pleaded with Republicans to reconsider overriding the governor’s veto, including Rep. Rachel Roberts who shared her experience of being raped when she was 14-years-old, reports the Herald-Leader.
“I can hear people outside chanting, ‘Bans off our bodies’ right now. This issue is so important that people showed up today. That should tell you something,” Roberts said, according to the Kentucky outlet. “I urge you to consider the ramifications of this bill. I urge you to allow this veto. Think of me as a 14-year-old rape victim.”